Four hard-working staff members have opened up about their memories, experiences and amazing achievements, having worked for a combined 120 years in hospitality at The Fraternity Club.
The awesome foursome – Kim Durose, Livia Pajkovic, Linda Princic and Suzanne Speechley – have enjoyed fun and adventures within a place they’ve collectively called the “Frat family”.
From greeting members and guests to serving delicious meals to tantalise the tastebuds, the women have largely been the face of the club for more than three decades.
Having breezed through 36 years of employment, Kim has clocked up most years between her closest friends, each of who are closing in on 30 years of experience.
“We’ve been a family from the start. I call these wonderful women my family,” Kim said.
With a wide smile and an agreed shake of the head, Linda added: “We laugh together every day at work. We cuddle. We have holidays together with our families!”
It’s this type of staff camaraderie that has propelled the club towards continued success.
The four devoted employees have witnessed many celebrations at The Fraternity Club over the decades, from family events, birthdays and weddings, renovations, and an abundance of sporting successes.
Some highlights include the Wollongong Wolves’ NSL grand final successes [2000 and 2001], Italy winning the World Cup , the construction of the new Il Bene pizza eatery and the annual Castagne Day celebrations.
“We all remember our kids getting stuck into the ice creams and fairy floss at Castagne Day,” Livia said.
And then there have been trying conditions, such as the devastating floods that wreaked havoc at the club in August 1998. It was an event that all four women remember clearly.
“We were all working. The floods rose very quickly,” Suzanne said. “There was so much water and things became concerning. I remember the mud that the flood left, which we all helped to clean the next day.”
Linda said the event unfolded within seconds. “We suddenly saw cars floating, people were still playing the pokies, the electricity went out and I was standing on one of the old cigarette machines trying to clear people out,’’ she said.
The women also endured the hard times when the club went into receivership, only to bounce back bigger and stronger.
“I’m proud that we stuck with it. We are a great team at a great club,” Kim said.
So, what’s the future hold for the “awesome foursome” at The Frat?
“Oh, we’ll be here forever. We love it!” Linda said.